Just like any other event, the team got to work by decorating Northam community centre into a magical, fanciful environment for all attendees to settle into for the evening of storytellers. The hall was filled up by guest tables with fairy lights, candles and flowers aplenty; ready for guests to sit and mingle over curry.
We truly felt blessed with the turnout that evening as we saw a mixture of familiar faces and new faces. One familiar face was the ever enthusiastic and talented Lottie who did an excellent job at hosting and setting the scene for the night. We could not have asked for a better host for our 100th event. Additionally, our greatest gratitude goes to our speakers Nina, who spoke about overcoming the struggles of when her home was destroyed in a gas explosion, and Tim, who spoke about living with Parkinson’s disease. Both speakers helped to make our 100th event feel like a special evening for everyone involved, and we were honoured to have them both speak about their stories of resilience and powering through difficult life experiences.
In addition to our two speakers, Touch team member Emily did an excellent reading of her letter to her younger self, which was written as part of our ‘100 Letters’ project to celebrate Touch Network’s achievement in reaching the milestone of 100 storytelling events.
100 Letters is a project taking place until November 2023 in which we are encouraging anyone to write a letter about resilience and overcoming adversity. The letter can be to your younger self about a challenge that you have dealt with in the past, or you can write your letter of dealing with hardships in your own way; focusing on optimism, resilience and pushing through the hard times. You can read more about the project here.
Just like our 70th event, we are still proud to be part of a movement where we can bring people together to celebrate our similarities as well as expressing the different challenges and experiences faced across our community. Touch Network is still successfully creating unique and wholesome evenings to spread positive messages of perseverance and togetherness to those in our community whilst also working to expand our connection to new communities.
Since our 100th storytelling event we have enjoyed further events in our community such as our Solent NHS Storytelling Programme graduation, our storytelling event at Colne Avenue Baptist Church and our silent disco at the Oasis Southampton City Farm Summer Open Day which took place last weekend.
Feedback from our events has shown that attendees have felt welcomed, uplifted, educated, connected and empowered. As of today, we have had a total of 269 speakers with a total of 2790 attendees across all our events. We have hosted 101 storytelling events and have provided 538 coaching and support hours to those who have told their story. We cannot wait to see how much these figures continue to rise in the future!